The video platform TikTok, created in 2016 as a continuation of Musical.ly, has gained exponential popularity in the past few years — garnering around 1 billion monthly active users. Its videos, which were once only used for dances and memes, have since adapted to a wider audience spanning ages, interests and even platforms. Business-to-consumer businesses have already adapted to TikTok, with companies such as DuoLingo and RyanAir finding great success on the app.
But can TikTok be taken seriously enough to be used with business-to-business companies? Here’s how the app is being used for B2B businesses today and why this might be the next social media channel for you to add to your marketing strategy.
Related: Here’s Why Not Being on TikTok Is a Huge Mistake
TikTok for business
When used correctly, TikTok can target a niche audience on a small, controllable entry-level budget. As competition on the platform is relatively low for many niches, it offers B2B marketers the opportunity to control the narrative for their subject matter topic.
Because there aren’t many B2B businesses on the app, the low competition gives you an innovative opportunity and allows for more experimentation. For example, B2B marketers can tap into their business’s niche — and get decent organic views and engagements. According to Social Insider, TikTok’s average engagement rate is 5.96%. Meaning, that the engagement on TikTok far outweighs the decreasing engagement numbers from Instagram and Facebook.
When it comes to B2B, marketers use TikTok for three main reasons:
- Networking: Industry-specific content attracts others to your business, allowing communities to form. Locally specific hashtags such as #SmallBusinessBerlin and #FurDich (For You page) ensure that people within your area see your content.
- Brand awareness: TikTok’s authenticity and attraction to content that isn’t over-curated give your brand a more dimensional perspective. Additionally, the low barrier to entry and high possibility of visibility can lead to high exposure with minimal effort.
- Lead generation: Short videos, favored on the platform, pique the interest of your target audience and lead viewers to your business page. Video playlists then encourage viewers to interact with your brand and lead them to your website for more information.
But is your B2B company the right match for TikTok?
Related: I’ve Helped Over 50 Businesses Scale Their TikTok Followings. Here’s What I Taught Them.
TikTok for your brand
TikTok is a young, experimental platform, and there are still many unknowns. As a marketer, make sure to enter with the right mindset. That is how you will get the most out of the platform.
If all of this sounds interesting to you still, here are a few more parameters to determine if TikTok is the right choice for your brand.
- You create unique, experimental content. What works and doesn’t work is a guessing game. Take the time to see what content fits your brand and attracts people.
- You can wait longer periods of time to see results. Just as you don’t know for sure what will work, you don’t know when it will work. The unpredictable algorithm can leave you with 100 views one day, and 1 mil views the next.
- You want to be on-trend. TikTok cycles through trends much faster than any other platform. To succeed, you will need to dedicate time to understanding new trends and applying them to your brand.
- You will engage on a personal level. TikTok is not for perfect, curated content. People want to see a relatable side of your brand. Connect with them on that level and loyal followers/customers will accumulate.
- You can handle a bit of cyberbullying. TikTok is not for the weak — you cannot get positive attention without also dealing with a few trolls.
Related: 10 Telling Examples of the Power of B2B Influencer Marketing
Making it work for your business
So you’ve decided TikTok is right for your business and are ready to dive into the platform.
However, maybe you’re just a bit daunted by the app and don’t know where to begin. Here are the basic criteria for what the algorithm favors — and that will give you the nudge towards success.
- Hook the audience within three seconds.
- Use trending audio.
- Focus on a niche.
- Experiment with new features.
- Favor short attention spans: Use seamless loops, easily digestible content, etc.
- Create accessible content: Used closed captions and on-screen text.
- Engage with others: Comment and like other people’s posts.
And as social media exists for people. Here are a few criteria to follow to ensure that you’re creating engaging content for your audience.
- Post valuable content. Create tutorials, hacks, how-tos, etc.
- Post authentic content. Show your humility and what makes your brand unique. For B2B, this is often done by focusing on a singular person rather than a whole company.
- Repost user-generated content. Duet other creators, stitch videos and give more information or provide your own take on original videos
Ultimately, TikTok can be a difficult platform to do well for B2B marketing — it takes a bit of creativity and experimentation to succeed. However, the app is constantly evolving and attracting new people. It offers marketers the unique opportunity to get their brand known quickly and in a creative way. To stay ahead of the curve, it can pay off to invest in the app today.
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